Origins of ordinary things: Christianity

From Friday last week to Monday this week, Christians around the world celebrated Easter—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ whom they believe to be the Saviour of the world.

According to Got Questions, a Christian knowledge resource, Christianity began in Jerusalem, 50 days after the believed resurrection of Jesus which is estimated to have taken place between 30 and 33 AD. The apostles, most of whom had been disciples of Jesus and had, therefore, witnessed his teachings and work, went around telling the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah.

Opposed to this message, Jewish leaders and others started persecuting the apostles and converts. This is according to the British Broadcasting Corporation. As a result, many early Christians were killed because of their faith.

One of the strong persecutors of Christianity was a man named Saul. According to the Bible, Saul then had a spiritual encounter which left him blind for a few days and then transformed him into a Christian. In the history of Christianity, Paul is considered a most significant figure who wrote letters which constitute a large part of the New Testament. He also established many churches in the Roman Empire.

Christians continued to face persecution until Constantine I the Great descended to the Roman throne and legalised the religion in 313 AD. This is according to web-based Ancient History Encyclopaedia.

According to Wikipedia, an encyclopaedia, by 400 AD, Christianity was Rome’s official religion and the persecution of Christians had stopped. Instead, those who did not convert to Christianity were persecuted. Many converted during this time, out of fear but they held onto their pagan beliefs.

Many discussions were held about what the Christian doctrine would constitute, and in 451 AD, the Nicene Creed was developed and it is still in use today.

The Roman Empire fell in 476 AD and this gave rise to divisions and differences in political and religious practices. This culminated into what is known as the Great Schism (split) of 1054 in which the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches separated. This is according to History, a web-based knowledge resource.

In 1517, a monk named Martin Luther who was opposed to the conduct of the Roman Catholic Church started the Protestant Reformation which emphasised the supreme authority of the Bible. This is according to the New World Encyclopaedia. Luther got massive support and this resulted in another split. Catholics and Protestants were then engaged in wars which dismantled the power of the Catholic Church.

Christianity, especially in form of Catholicism and Protestantism, massively spread to the rest of the world from 1790 to 1900 through the European missionaries who established churches and schools. This paved way for colonisation. 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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